Completed in 1881, his dramatic cantata, Song of Our Saviour (Op. 16), was the crowning achievement for E.A. Jones and is a masterful work that deserves to be heard today.
It was revised from an earlier choral work by him titled, The Nativity Hymn, one of only four works to receive honorable mention in 1879 in the Cincinnati College of Music competition, judged by Theodore Thomas, the most distinguished conductor in America at that time.
Song of Our Saviour was composed for SATB soloists, chorus, organ and orchestra.
It received its World Premiere performance over one hundred years later on May 3, 1992.
The soloists were: Linda Brookfield, soprano; Donna Ames, alto;
Michael Duarte, tenor; Mark Anderson, bass. The Old Stoughton Musical Society Chorus and Orchestra, was conducted by Dr. Raymond Fahrner.
There was an article about this World Premiere performance of the Jones cantata in the Boston Globe newspaper, "Giving life to a lost masterpiece," by William A. Davis on May 4, 1992. The article credits musicologist Roger Hall, who found the surviving Jones music "in his own hand, wrapped in plain brown paper and tied up like old newspapers." The article also mentions that "standing out among the trove of songs and string quartets that Hall unearthed was Jones' undoubted masterpiece: a cantata entitled 'Song of Our Saviour' that has been compared to the best of Brahms and 19th-century American music greats such as Edward MacDowell."
The complete cantata from the World Premiere performance is now available on a CD produced by Roger Lee Hall.
Here are the sections of this 1881 cantata:
No. 1: Introduction - Orchestra
No. 2a: Recitative - "For God so loved the world" (John 8:16) - Bass
No. 2b: Chorus - "Break forth into joy" (Isaiah 52:9) - Chorus
No. 3: Air - "How beautiful upon the mountains" (Isaiah 52:7) - Alto
No. 4: Chorus - "Awaken thou that sleepest" - Eph. 5:14)
No. 5a: Recitative - "He was oppressed" - Isaiah 53:7 - Tenor
No. 5b: Air - "Greater love hath no man" - St. John 15:13
No. 6: Chorale - "Behold what matchless, tender love"
No. 7a: Recitative - "O Lord, why hast made us to err" - Isaiah 63:17
No. 7b: Air -"If ye love me, keep my commandments" - St. John 14:15
No. 8: Trio - "Look unto Me and be saved" - Isaiah 45:22
- Soprano, Alto, Tenor Trio
No. 9a: Recitative - "Unto Him that loved us" - Rev. 1:5-6 - Bass
No. 9b: Chorus - "Glory be to God in the highest"
No. 9c: Quartet - "Hallelujah, Amen"
No. 9d: Chorus and Quartet (Finale)
Click the link in the box to hear two excerpts from this cantata:
--"How beautiful" for Alto soloist with orchestra and solo cello with this text:
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publiseth salvation - ISAIAH 52:7
--"Look unto me" for Soprano, Alto, Tenor soloists, organ and orchestra with these words:
Look unto me and be saved, all the ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is none else. -- ISAIAH 45:22